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Home insurance - also known as homeowners insurance - covers the costs associated with loss or damage to your home. It is usually a bundled insurance package and usually includes the following:

  • Household contents insurance - covers cost of loss and damage to your household contents
  • Personal liability insurance - provides indemnity against your indemnity for accidental death or body injury of third party or accidental loss or damage to third party property

Most people buy building and household contents insurance together in a package. Always remember to check whether your assets have increased in value when it comes to renew your insurance to ensure you have enough cover.



Household contents insurance

Contents insurance covers the cost of replacing or repairing your household contents if they are lost or damaged due to fire, theft, broken water pipes, damage from typhoons, heavy rainfalls, etc. Household contents include all of your items and possessions such as furniture, appliances, clothes, electronic items and jewellery and may also include servants' property.

Be careful not to underestimate the value of your household contents. List your belongings and calculate how much they would cost to replace. This is important so you have adequate cover in the event of making a claim.

For some valuable items such as jewellery, you may need to specify these individually and you may need to take out additional insurance to cover the full value depending on how much they are worth.

Home insurance can still be relevant even if you're not a home owner. If you are renting, you can still purchase household contents insurance to cover your possessions.



Building insurance

If you are a home owner, you should also consider the need for building insurance to cover the costs of replacing the building structure or rebuilding due to damage caused by fire or typhoon. Building structure refers to walls, floors, and other fixtures and fittings. Building insurance also covers legal liability owed to third parties for causing accidental bodily injury or property damage while in your property.

If your household building property is subject to a mortgage, you are required to get fire insurance. Considering your own circumstances, you have the option to get fire insurance only. It's worth checking if the building management of your property has procured fire insurance for the whole building.

Make sure you shop around or ask a broker to ensure the building insurance policy provides adequate cover for your home.



Domestic helpers insurance

If you employ domestic helper, you may wish to add domestic helper insurance, which include the mandatory employees' compensation insurance, provided that your home insurance product has such option.



Exclusions

Like other types of insurance, there are exclusions for home insurance. Check with your insurer to know about the excluded conditions. Some of them are:

  • War and riot
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Wear and tear
  • Unoccupancy
  • Vandalism or malicious damage


Things to note:

Before you purchase home insurance, do note that:

  • You may have to pay an excess ie the amount of loss you need to share by yourself, if you're going to make a claim.
  • You need to comply with statutory obligations and take reasonable steps to prevent loss, damages and injuries.
  • One of the common exclusions for home insurance is unoccupancy. If you're away from home for work or a long vacation, or your house is waiting to be renovated, you may not be able to claim if your home is damaged. Contact your insurers to see if there's any solutions.